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August 01, 2011 (Vol. 31, No. 14)


  • Interesting "BioNumber of the Month" feature, various search options.
  • Some weak citations

Quick—how many taste buds does a person have? How many cells are in an adult male C. elegans? What volume of an E. coli cell is occupied by RNA? Stumped? You clearly haven’t spent time on BioNumbers, a website dedicated to the compilation of numerical values important in biology. The database is sizable, with entries that span biochemistry, cell biology, medicine, and other areas. Citations are provided for all of the entries, although some are more useful than others. (For instance, the cited material can either be a primary journal article or it can be a website that, in turn, cites a source, which cites a source…) Despite this limitation, BioNumbers is a valiant attempt to “facilitate quantitative analysis,” a goal of the endeavor. Even if you don’t have a legitimate query related to your research, this site is a perfect place for random exploration.

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